Sunday, 4 May 2014

Human Trafficker or Philanthropist?

Riding with David and Co. near Kas
I clocked the open window as the dishevelled man led me from the dark corridor and in to the small room. The room had 3 beds and I found myself listening for the click of a lock as he shut the door behind me. It didn't come. I hear his footsteps as he walks back up the corridor and close the second door leading to the garage front where my bike was parked. I wait and listen. Still no sound. Phew!

My attention turns to the job in hand. I quickly take off my boots and and trousers and slip on my waterproof liners. Then the jacket. I try to not to rush. Its like when you walk home in the dark and get spooked by a sound and don't want to start running because it only accelerates the paranoia as you have accepted there really might be something there to be scared of. I don't hang around to zip the liners in place though and go straight for the boots.

I had stopped at this little garage in the hills to use the loo as a changing room but the man (one of 5) had led me to this back room instead. I guess it was the staff quarters and had more room than the toilet for my needs.

As I walk out of the room and back in to the light of day I find a cup of tea waiting for me and a big smile.

"Where are you from?"
A blank look.
"Next to England" I explained.
"Ah England"
I drink the tea, thank them and ride on, laughing at myself in my helmet. That answers that question! Philanthropist!

The weather had turned on me today. It was raining hard and the wind had really picked up. What started out as the perfect riding day was now a constant battle to keep from being blown in the the central reservation. I don't think I have ever ridden in such windy conditions. Not even the Pan American was this bad. When I stopped it was a battle to hold the bike upright so I just kept ploughing on slowly and stopping briefly for some respite at the odd garage. The next stop saw another man running over with more tea! Perhaps I look like I need it! I generally do!

On "my" Yacht in Bodrum
This last few days could not have been more varied or more interesting for me.

Bodrum was a delightful place and Fuat, my host, lent me a yacht for the night! It was quite an
experience as I'd never been on one before! That evening, in the harbour, we went through pictures of Antarctica and discussed the Drake Passage crossing that I will soon be facing in my quest to get Rhonda to Antarctica. I headed back to the yacht later that evening and slept like a baby, gently rocking in the harbour.

Click here for video blog on said quest!
(More news to follow as the plans develop)

On route to Dalyan 
From Bodrum I headed for Dalyan lake. I was determined to avoid the dual carriageway and so I set my way points one at a time and headed for each small village along the coastline even if my GPS told me there were no roads.

About 10 miles of the road was pretty non existent. It was clearly no longer used and was severely broken up. I carried on and eventually came out back on the tarmac. It was a stunning ride taking me alongside secluded coves, around switchbacks and up in the hills where the views were
breathtaking. Every day is ride out day!

That night I camped by Dalyan Lake with the mozzies and the goats! I just love the diversity of this trip!

This weekend was spent is Kas with David Bird and his lovely wife Juliette who took me in along with the other strays they have collected over the years. 6 dogs of varying sizes and 7 cats including the only thalidomide cat I have ever met! A wonderful place which happens to be surrounded by miles of mountain trails. Of course we had to check them out! Bags off and 5 stone lighter, Rhonda and I were ready to go!

Kas is known for it's beautiful coastline on the Mediterranean sea (and it is stunning) but the mountains at this time of year are hard to beat.

I felt very much at home here surrounded by animals and space. David and Juliet may find me abandoned on their doorstep next, in a box marked "Please feed homemade Lasagne 3 times a day and ensure regular trail riding is maintained"!

To see route click here

265 miles tomorrow. Heading for the sunken city of Ihlara.


  1. Just stand back in admiration at what you are doin take care Steph xx

  2. Steph, I would say ditch weight and lose things that you haven't used in 3 months but it looks like you've got hardly anything with you anyhow! How is it that adventure blokes have to drag a caravan-full of stuff with them - spare tyres - spare engine - spare water de-ioniser and purifier, etc? You've got it right - travel as light as possible and you're less likely to break down because of rear frame cracking, etc. Anyway, you have all the time in the world. It's OK too to change plans and stay in a particular country if you want to.

    I'm off to Hastings tomorrow for the big Bike1066 ride-out with some 35,000 bikers. You can imagine the traffic there'll be on the English south coast, Bank Holiday Monday. All the very best! I will be following you on your adventures as you travel. Have a good sleep.

    1. Thanks Walter. Cant stay still too long though. I am a mission to get to Antarctica in February. Hastings sounds like great fun. Enjoy. Hope the weather is good for you. x

  3. Nice to hear you are doing well Steph. Sometimes one has to take 'leaps of faith', but always after understanding the dangers. I still apply the rule "If it's too freaky, leave!"

    How funny, you're going to Antarctica!

    Take care.


    1. Fingers crossed P. Just need a few more grand and to get across Asia and Australia in time!! : 0 ) That's all before hitting the Drake Passage! Pah! Easy!! : 0 ) xx

  4. West coast of Oz through the worst storm in 20 years to meet my girlfriend. Big winds are no fun. But the memory is still there. Stay safe.

  5. Totally awesome what you're doing.

    Stay safe, ride hard and enjoy every day ;)

    1. Thanks Paul. So far I am loving it. Really xx

  6. Take care Steph, when I read the first section of your entry, I was holding my breath. Ride on!

  7. you have never asked Steph but would like to help out in some small way towards your trip, have been enjoying the up dates etc here and on face book etc, do you have a donation site where those of us that wish to help you on your way can do so ?

    1. That is really good of you. Thank you so much. I will put it towards my Antarctica fund. Is Paypal OK? I guess that would be the easiest option. If not let me know. Otherwise my Paypal account is Thanks Xeroid.

    2. every little bit helps

    3. Thanks for the contribution Si. Vey much appreciated. It really does xxx

  8. I'm so impressed and in awe of what you're doing. It has to be an exciting and scary experience...I know it would be for me. Since I will likely never go on such a grand adventure, I will follow yours and live vicariously through you. Ride safe and have fun!


    Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy

    1. Thanks Curt. Hope you enjoy the ride : 0 )

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Hi Steph

    We are heading in the opposite direction to you: New Zealand → Cornwall, UK.

    We’re in Rajasthan, India, at the moment. Intend shipping (airfreight) from Mumbai to Dubai in around 10 days’ time; then ferry across the Straight of Hormuz from Sharjah (Dubai) UAE, to Bandar Abbas, southern Iran. Planning on spending around 18 days heading north up through Iran.

    Our paths could easily cross. If you want to meet-up for a beer somewhere (hey! fat chance of that anywhere in Iran, eh?!), then please get in touch. SPOT marks where we are, LINK:

    All the best – and safe travels

    Keith [& Ellen]


  11. Its was a great write steph and i could see what you have written.. Its awww your living your dream and wish you have wonderful journey.. Ride hard Ride safe .. I jus finished my small trip to kerala.. And doin a long ride in 2 months.. Keep riding keep writing... Cheers!!

  12. Hey steph... Its a beautiful write..i hope you are living your dream.. Ride hard n ride safe... Wish i could ride one day like you.. Keep riding keep writing... Cheers


    1. Thanks Ratheesh. I hope you can ride you dream one day too. Go for it xxx

  13. Hi Steph
    Not sure how i found your blog i think a lucky email, but have to say thank you. I almost forgotten my planned bike adventures, dusted off the plans and off i go later this year. Not quite a world trip :o) but im sure i will get there soon ! Will follow your progress and yes you are lucky... and hey, you made this happen so enjoy every minute ! Good luck !

    1. Wohooooo! Thanks for sharing that Jason. So nice to know your plans are not forgotten. Let me know how you get on. xxx